Day Care 't Olefantje is a warm and homely day care and offers parents and children a familiar and cosy environment. We find it important that children can develop, grow, feel safe and above all have lots of fun.
We strive to make parents, children and our teachers feel at ease through a cosy and warm atmosphere. Because we are small, we know all parents and the communication between parents, children, teachers and managers is very open. We have a nice and committed team with permanent employees and permanent substitutes. This ensures peace and continuity in the groups.
It is important for children, but also for parents to leave their child in good hands every time. Together with our educational team, we have drawn up a mission and vision, which makes clear what we think is important for our children and why. To ensure this, we sit together as a team on a regular basis. Together we discuss what we can do better and what we need to change. In this way, we continue to inspire each other to take the upbringing of the children entrusted to us seriously.
We offer tailor-made education. This means that we look at all children individually and respond to their needs. Each child receives personal attention so that they can develop at their own pace. So, we do not have a clearly defined picture of how a child should become and what the right approach is. Each child has their own personality and it is that personality that makes each child so unique and fun. In order to maintain this individuality, it is important for the child to develop self-confidence. We trust that when a child gets a lot of love, space, freedom to develop and structure, they will grow up as an individual with self-confidence.
We find it important to approach children in a positive way. We look at what the children can do, look for solutions and try to emphasise positive behaviour rather than negative behaviour. We also like to help parents when there are questions or jumps in development. On a regular basis, external parties visit us to help us with this. For example, a movement coach who stimulates the children's motor development, an activity coach, dance teacher or a pedagogue.
If you prefer to read our Educational Policy on paper download and print here.
We base our actions on six interaction skills which, in our opinion, are founded on the above mentioned points. We briefly explain these interaction skills below using a number of examples.
1. Sensitive responsiveness. We pay close attention to children’s signals and what is on their minds. We encourage them when they are interested and enthusiastic. We try to verbalise what they feel and ask about their feelings and thoughts. We talk to the children and not at the children. We do this by sitting with the children on the ground (eye level) and by asking them regularly for their opinion. If possible, we consider the input of the children, or explain why it is not possible to do this. We also involve the parents to find out if a child does not feel understood or heard.
2. Respect for the autonomy of the child. We encourage the children to do as much as possible themselves. We let them discover for themselves and offer them the opportunity to choose for themselves. We ask them to think along with us about plans, solutions and activities. We offer all children the space to be themselves. This means that in addition to fun joint activities, a child can also play alone when they want to. We also give the child the space to have their own (autonomous) emotions. Of course, we strive for cheerful and happy children, but we also realise that they can be angry or sad. By observing the children and discussing details with each other and with the parents, we can help children quickly when they hit a wall. If necessary, we make arrangements for extra supervision for the child. Think of the birth of a new brother or sister or the frustration that may be felt by a child going through a developmental leap. We adjust the daily programme or daily routine if this is in the child's best interest.
3. Structuring and setting boundaries. We offer structure and continuity. For example, we have a fixed daily schedule and permanent teachers. We name the rules and agreements in the group and explain why we have these rules and agreements. We offer an alternative in case of undesirable behaviour, for example “Can you ask if you can play with that, instead of grabbing it?” in order to steer the children in a more positive direction. We convey important values to the children by setting a good example ourselves. For example, we wait to eat until everyone has something to eat, we do not talk over each other, we are nice to each other and we consider one another.
4. Talking and explaining. We continuously use situations to talk to the children. We supplement these conversations with extra information and repeat what the children say in the right words. We explain what we do and why. We verbalise what the children see and do. We read to the children interactively. We do this by asking open questions during the reading or by engaging them in conversations about the subjects of the books.
5. Development stimulation We encourage the development of the children in different ways. We ask ourselves out loud how something works, or why something happens in a certain way. We make stimulating statements such as “your boots will probably fit me too”. Where possible, we encourage the children to do things themselves. Think about getting dressed or making a sandwich themselves. We speak using varied language and just above the level of the children in order to offer them as wide a range of languages as possible.
6. Guiding (positive) interactions between children We make sure that children feel safe and at ease with each other. We notice interactions between children and respond positively to (spontaneous) positive contact between children. We encourage conversations between the children and not just between the children and the teachers. We deliberately create situations where children play together, share and help each other. The children often play in small groups and because of this, they feel safer. We teach the children to communicate both verbally and non-verbally with us and with the other children. So, we encourage the children to look at others and respond to them.
In addition to these educational principles, there are a number of other points that we find very important at 't Olefantje, which you will find under the headings here.
At 't Olefantje, we think it's important to encourage the children to eat healthy and varied. We like to experiment with food, sometimes we offer other things than normal to let the children taste. Not only do we offer the food ready to eat, but we also show the children a whole broccoli for example, and together we discover what is edible and what is not, the colours and the smells, and finally the flavours.
We consciously choose our products and pay attention to salt and sugar content. We also ask parents to provide a healthy treat for birthdays. In all these ways, we try to encourage children as much as possible to make healthy choices.
At our location, we have a beautiful, large courtyard garden where the children can play to their heart's content. The children love it and it is of course good for their motor development.
We strive to go out with the children every day. Also when it rains or snows, we like to play in the open air. When children play outside, they come into contact with different natural materials such as: sand, leaves, snails, beetles, etc. In addition, we have an apple and pear tree from which the children can make delicious apple sauce/pear sauce.
All our teachers have a child-oriented education, a genuine interest in children and can create an environment that is pleasant, safe and feels like home. We invest a lot of time and effort in the teachers and interns and are happy to offer them the opportunity to continue their development through training and courses.
We are a recognised internship company and like to work with interns. The interns are always under our supervision. In the end, they perform the same tasks as the teachers, but do not yet bear final responsibility.
We like to have interns who do an internship with us for at least one school year. Advanced interns can be engaged as professionals if their level of education allows it. This is pleasant for the children because it offers continuity.
We work with as many permanent, enthusiastic groups of substitutes as possible. A lot of the substitutes and interns also look after their parents, which makes it extra familiar for the children and parents.
The teachers and interns of 't Olefantje are supported by their managers. The teachers can come to them for questions, advice and support. There are also regular group meetings where one of the managers is always present. Here any particulars of children are discussed, there is consultation, and the ins and outs of the group are discussed. In addition, the teachers are regularly retrained and have a child-oriented first aid certificate.
To be able to follow the development of the children well, all children have a mentor in the group. This is one of the teachers assigned to the group from the beginning, this is communicated to parents during the intake. When the children move on to the next group, the parents are given a letter of application stating who the new mentor will be. The mentor of the group transfers details to the new mentor.
If the children go to school and/or after-school care or move to another day care, for example, we also give parents a transfer form. During work meetings and transfers, the mentor discusses the well-being and development of the children with the managers and the parents. If any particulars are identified, a plan is drawn up together with the mentor and managers to guide a child through development for a certain period of time. This could be a child that does not sleep or eat well, a child that does not develop as fast as usual, or a child that has to adjust to a new situation due to the birth of a new brother or sister. If necessary, in consultation with parents, we call in third parties connected to our care, or refer parents to someone. This can be an exercise and development coach or a speech therapist. We register the development and any peculiarities in our monitoring system.
Once a year, parents are invited for a 10-minute interview to discuss the children's development with the mentor. If necessary, an additional interview can take place at the request of the mentor or parents.
At 't Olefantje, we work with 3 horizontal groups. We have a baby group, a young and two older toddler groups. The number of teachers per group depends on the legal professional-to-child ratio.
· The baby group consists of a maximum of 11 children aged 10 weeks to 15 months with three teachers. The regular teachers are Nicole, Sophie, Anne, Dounia.
· The young toddler group consists of a maximum of 11 children aged 1 to 2 years with two teachers. The regular teachers are Manouk, Nazife and Roos.
· The toddler group 1 consists of a maximum of 15 children aged 2 to 4 years with two teachers. The regular teachers are Salima, Willeke and Naoual.
· The older toddler group 2 consists of a maximum of 4 children aged 2 to 4 years with one teacher. The regular teachers are Salima, Willeke and Naoual.
The age boundaries of the groups are indicative, we always take individual children into account. Of course, we take into account the professional-to-child ratio.
For three hours a day, less personnel than the legal professional-to-child ratio may be deployed in the groups. We apply the 3-hour rule at the following times: In the morning between 8.15 am and 9.00 am, between 12.45 pm and 2.15 pm, and in the afternoon between 5.00 pm and 5.45 pm, we may have fewer teachers than required in the groups. We make sure that at least 50% of the teachers are always present in the groups, and that we do not deviate from the legal professional-to-child ratio for more than 3 hours in total.
There is plenty of opportunity to talk to the teachers in the morning. Good communication with parents is extremely important to us. The children can be brought from 7.45 am. We strive to start the day together and ask parents to have brought their children by 9.30 am. Exceptions are of course always possible. At the end of the day, the teachers give a transfer of how the day went. From 4.30 pm, we are prepared to have the children collected. Also here exceptions are possible, it is then nice to discuss this, so we can make sure the children are ready. At 6.15 pm, 't Olefantje is closed.
’t Olefantje offers a variety of activities, in a child-friendly environment. The toys meet the required safety requirements. The different areas of development are encouraged. The teachers guide the children in their play by providing clarity. It is important to us that the children know clearly what is and what is not allowed, so that the child can fully immerse themselves in their play. We offer the most varied range of play materials we can, so that children can make their own choices. We do not prescribe exactly what the child should do, but nor do we leave the child on their own.
We put the game first and not the results. We do this by rewarding the activity as such and not the results. If necessary, we limit behaviour, for example when game behaviour becomes too noisy or a quarrel arises. We try to approach the child in as positive a way as possible.
We make a distinction between activities that are part of our daily routine and activities that take place outside the regular group.
Every day there are activities in the regular groups, such as singing songs, reading books, dancing, craft activities, games, cooking and the like. The activities are adjusted to the age and level of the child. The activities focus on recognisable themes such as: fairy tales, people, spring, holidays, etc. In addition, special events surrounding a family, such as the child's birthday or the birth of a sister or brother, are taken into account.
Besides these activities, there is plenty of room for unstructured play. During unstructured play, children learn to deal with emotions, share them together, await their turn, discover themselves and understand things. To a large extent, children decide for themselves what they want to do and what, how and with what they play.
They may pick out new toys once they've tidied away the previous one. This is because we think it is important that children learn to handle materials carefully and because practice shows that if there are too many toys on offer, they are less likely to enjoy playing.
There are also regular activities that take place outside the own regular group. We have a beautiful, large courtyard garden where the children can play. So, we go outside both when the weather is nice and not so nice. The children love it and it is good for their motor development. span>
Thematic activities, such as a reading morning during Children's Book Week or Sinterklaas or Christmas celebrations, carnival, are celebrated extensively. Parents are informed in advance when these activities take place.
If the parents give permission for it, we will go on trips once in a while. This may be to a playground, the greengrocer or baker, or we go for a walk. We may then split up into smaller groups. If we organise an activity outside our own premises, the children will walk 2 by 2, and we use pushchairs as transport.
After the activities, the children go back to their own regular group. These activities take place under sufficient supervision, and we take into account the professional-to-child ratio. The eating, drinking and resting moments take place in the own regular group of the child.
The time needed to adjust is different for each child. The same goes for the parents. So do not hesitate to express your doubts and uncertainties, because knowing these will allow us to devise the best way to help you. While your child is adjusting, please ensure that you are available the first day and on call for the next few days. This only concerns parents of new children. When a child goes from one group to the other, the teachers will arrange the adjustment with each other. The parents will of course be informed about this.
Children generally adjust to the day care three times before they start. Assuming that a child starts as a baby at the day care, our experience shows that three times is enough.
The first day on which a child adjusts to the day care starts at 09.30 am with an intake interview with the manager. This intake takes about half an hour. They will explain the general course of events at the day care and discuss general information. Of course, there is plenty of opportunity to ask questions. After that, around 10.00 am, there will be another intake in the group with the teachers. During this intake, the teachers will discuss with you all the details about your child. This will also take about half an hour. After that, the parents will leave the child to our care for about 1.5 hours. Experience teaches us that this first time is especially exciting for the parents, which is why the first time is not too long, i.e. from 9.30 am to about 12.00 pm. The parents themselves are also present at the day care from 9.30 am to about 10.30 am. The child then stays on their own with us from 10.30 am to 12.00 pm, after which the parents pick up the child again at 12.00 pm.
The second time, the child comes a bit longer and the parents basically just drop off and collect the child. This second day of adjustment is about half a day, from 9.30 am to 2.00 pm.
The third and last time of adjustment, the child will stay almost the whole day, being from 9.30 am to 4 pm. Also here, the parents only drop off and collect the child.
The arrangements for adjustment are made in consultation with the parents and generally take place in the month before the official placement.
For new children in the different toddler groups, adjustment is arranged in consultation with the parents. This can be very different for each child.
When the children change groups, they also need to adjust a number of times in the month prior to the actual transition. You as parents will of course be informed about this, but the teachers will arrange this adjustment among themselves. For this internal adjustment, we use the following schedule:
The first day from 9.30 am to 11.30 am. They eat fruit in the other group and go back to their own group to eat bread. The second time the child will adjust is from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm. They will now also eat bread in the other group, but will sleep in their own group. The third day of adjustment is from 9.30 am until 4.00 pm. The child will also go to sleep and drink yoghurt in the new group. The last time the child adjusts to the new group is almost the whole day before they go back to their own group. When a child is adjusting to a new group, a teacher of the own group goes to the new group together with the child. The teacher stays with the child for a while to put the child at ease and to transfer all the details of the child well to the new teachers. If a child needs longer to adjust, we will of course adjust the above schedule.
Health & Safety
We strive to provide children and employees with the safest and healthiest possible work, play and living environment where children are protected from risks with serious consequences and learn to deal with minor risks. The risks within our care do not belong to the management, but to all of us. Our teachers and interns are actively involved in identifying and evaluating unsafe or unhealthy situations and are also involved in the measures that are taken. In this way, we ensure that we continuously learn from practice.
Here you can access the Safety and Health Policy of Day Care 't Olefantje. This Policy Plan clarifies how we work at our location.